Last night (Thursday November 29) more than 130 guests from across Cornwall’s business community came together to hear the winners of this year’s Hub Awards announced.
The annual event, hosted by the county’s dynamic networking group, The Hub, celebrates some of the county’s most talented, dynamic and successful entrepreneurs and business owners.
This year’s event, which was sponsored by Oxford Innovation, UkNetWeb, Pyramid and Unlocking Potential also secured Pirate FM as media partner.
The winners on the evening were announced in the following categories:
The Best New Business award was scooped by Trispen-based, Cake Top Characters. Since launching in May 2011, judges were impressed by the quick growth of the company, which makes bespoke, caricature cake toppers. With a string of awards under her belt, owner, Cassie Lawrence, also has a clear vision for its future, including launching into the christening and baby market and building its celebrity portfolio. Judges commended Cassie for creating a profitable business that is truly scalable.
This year’s Employee of the Year was awarded to 29 year-old Hannah Jewell, Marketing & PR Executive at Blackwater-based, Cornwall Solar Panels. Hannah was nominated for the award by the managing director, Tony Sampson, and shone through when it came to the judging panel.
Judges recognised the impact Hannah had made on the business, despite only being employed since May this year. Judges were enthralled how quickly Hannah had made her mark and embedded into the team. They were also impressed about the successes that could be directly attributed to her, including generating 40% more direct leads at The Royal Cornwall Show and completely managing the company’s re-brand and increased online presence; which in turn has increased direct leads by more than 25%.
New for this year at The Hub Awards was the Best Online Strategy. The inaugural award was handed to Watergate Bay Hotel and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall. Spearheaded by thecompany’s Digital Marketing Executive, Ellie Garland, judges unanimously crowned the businesses with the title. Judges were impressed with how Ellie had seamlessly embedded the brands’ online marketing into the day-to-day marketing mix. As a result, the brands are now recognised as a Top 100 Social Brand (Headstream). Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall was ranked at number 44 worldwide and was the only restaurant to make the ranking and one of only two Cornish businesses to make the grade.
It was a double victory for 23 year-old Cassie Lawrence after she was also awarded Entrepreneur of the Year. Judges commented that she embodied everything that young entrepreneurialism should be about and that she had successfully identified that creativity and personalisation makes profit; and developed her business to maximise that. The judges recognised that entrepreneurialism has run through her since a young age when she used to make and sell her own jewellery at school. Cake Top Characters was initially run by Cassie alongside other employment, but demand has meant it is now her full time job.
On the night, a special award for Hub Contributor of the Year was given to Mark Smith, Executive Director of Unlocking Potential. Mark was commended by the Hub Committee for his commitment and enthusiastic approach to the group in the past 12 months. As well as regularly attending events, Mark also supported committee members acting as an unofficial mentor and has even hosted an event. Mark also played a key part in this year’s award’s video.
This year’s Hub Awards were also supported in kind by Cornish businesses Leap – design for change, Fluid Branding and Lung Fish.